Christmas music, Christmas messages and Christmas parades will get this particular Christmas Day off and rolling on television.
Down in Florida, the fifth annual "Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Parade" will take place today, and ABC will cover the festivities starting at 7:30 a.m. (7)(3)(10)(42). Alan Thicke, Joan Lunden and Regis Philbin will do the reporting.
The National Council of Churches will present the music and message of Christmas in a special program at 9 a.m. on NBC (4)(36)(39).
This morning also will bring Christmas parades via tape on Channel 9: the South Gate parade at 9 a.m., and the 1987 Santa Ana Toys on Parade at 11 a.m. Channel 9 also has Christmas-themed programs airing throughout the day until 7 p.m.
KCET Channel 28 as well has a variety of Christmas attractions, including Bach's Christmas Oratorio beginning at 10 a.m., and a "Robert Shaw Christmas Festival" at 1 p.m. KCET's programming is capped by this evening's dancing of "Swan Lake" by the Kirov Ballet (at 9 p.m.; also on Channel 15).
There are various sporting attractions today, but the big one for local fans arrives as UCLA meets Florida in the Aloha Bowl at 12:30 p.m. on ABC (7)(3)(10)(42).
Before being put away for another year, "A Christmas Carol" (1951, Alistair Sim version) gets one more airing at 5 p.m. on Channel 7, as does the animated "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus," at 7 p.m. on Channel 2.
CBS also has scheduled another look at some perennials: "The House Without a Christmas Tree," starring Jason Robards and Mildred Natwick, at 3:30 p.m. (2); Barbara Mandrell's musical family reunion at 8 p.m. (2)(8), and Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury in "The Gift of Love: A Christmas Story" at 9 p.m.
KCOP Channel 13 at 8 p.m. will carry "McDonald's Gospel Fest '87," with community and church choirs performing at a benefit for the United Negro College Fund.
KOCE Channel 50 wraps up Christmas night with Orange County choral groups performing on Jim Cooper's program at 8:30 p.m., followed by "A Celebration of Lessons and Carols" on "Christmas in Vermont" at 9 p.m.; carols from King's College at Cambridge in England at 10 p.m., and Robert Shaw leading the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus in "Messiah" excerpts at 11 p.m.
"Top of the Pops" repeats this week's upbeat Christmas musicale featuring Sting, U2 and John Cougar Mellencamp at 12:30 a.m. on (2).
David Letterman's writers, who won the 1985 Emmy for "A Letterman Christmas," dish up another version of the same at 12:30 a.m. on (4)(36)(39), aided by guests Connie Chung, Teri Garr and race car driver Bobby Rahal.
Finally, if too much Christmas cheer leaves you with insomnia, try "Lifeboat" (1944, Tallulah Bankhead) at 4 a.m. on Channel 5.